Proposals okayed as per rules: BMC on MHCC concerns over redevelopment

While the Mumbai Heritage Preservation Commission (MHCC) has raised concerns about the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) decision to allow the redevelopment of buildings in Heritage Class III and District Class, the civic body said the redevelopment proposals were approved in accordance with the provisions and authority granted in the Oversight Development and Promotional Regulations (DCPR)-2034.

According to officials from the Department of Development Plan (DP), the MHCC is preparing guidelines for development in Grade III and the District District with an emphasis on the facade, elevation and architectural features of the building.

Earlier, he had raised the issue of framing development guidelines in areas that fall under the third heritage category and the district category. MHCC members were not satisfied with the DP management’s decision to approve redevelopment proposals using the authority of the Municipal Commissioner in Row 3 and surrounding areas without insisting on a Heritage NOC.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Municipal Commissioner IS Chahal said he is aware of the problem and is looking into it. BMC has stated that members of the MHCC want restrictions on redevelopment in Class III and surrounding areas on the lines of Class One and Class Two structures, particularly on building height. However, the Civil Administration has made it clear that further restrictions will halt the redevelopment of many of the old and dilapidated buildings.

“Whatever MHCC is thinking of doing there is no need as such. We are taking all these precautions. The current practice of approving development in the area should continue,” the BMC official said.

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The company also indicated that it would go ahead with the approval of redevelopment proposals in the area. “The MHCC has recommended that until the guidelines are formed, no proposals for development in the third and county tier should be approved, but it is not binding on the civic body as the first is an advisory committee. The DCPR has clearly stated that redevelopment in the area can be approved by the municipal commissioner” , said a senior civilian official from the DP division.

Earlier, during an MHCC meeting, several members said that the circuits and classroom buildings should be preserved as they make up the city’s heritage and cultural landscape.

The BMC official said that instead of sending every proposal to the MHCC, there should be a unified policy.

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